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February 15, 2021 35 min
In this episode of Functional Medicine Research, I interview Ashok Gupta about his limbic system retraining program. Trauma of any kind can change the brain and nervous system in a way that prevents one from getting well. Many people never get well because they don't address the underlying trauma that has triggered or contributed to their health challenges. If you've tried eating right, exercising, sleeping well, taken the best supplements, and managed your stress, but you still aren't feeling well, your brain and nervous system may be out of balance. The Gupta Program is designed to change the neuroplasticity of your brain and nervous system so you can heal and feel well again. We discuss a new and exciting published paper that validates this method of limbic system retraining. Full Transcript on Limbic System Retraining Interview Dr. Hedberg: Well, welcome everyone to "Functional Medicine Research." I'm Dr. Hedberg, and I'm very excited today to talk to Ashok Gupta about limbic system retraining. And Ashok is an internationally renowned speaker, filmmaker, and health practitioner who has dedicated his life to supporting people through chronic illness and achieving their potential. Ashok suffered from myalgic encephalomyelitis or chronic fatigue syndrome about 25 years ago when he was studying at Cambridge University, and through neurological research that he conducted, he managed to get himself 100% better. He then set up a clinic to treat others and then published the well-known recovery program known as "The Gupta Program" in 2007. He's published several medical papers and he's continually researching these conditions. You can find out more information at Ashok, thanks for coming on the program. Ashok: Thank you so much for inviting me. Very excited to be here. Dr. Hedberg: Yeah. So, the limbic system is something that I've been interested in since I started practicing 17 years ago, and you know, I have a variety of recommendations that I give to patients for that. You know, things like meditation, mindfulness training, therapy, or just a number of things, but your particular limbic system-intensive program, I heard about it recently and became very interested in it. And why don't we begin by talking about just the limbic system itself? Can you give people kind of an overview of what the limbic system does and why it's important? Ashok: Yes. So, there are many different ways of describing the limbic system. I think primarily if we start with this idea of it being a defensive system to ensure survival, right? So, most people would associate the limbic system with our emotional responses and medicine often separates the kind of psychology and the emotional responses from defense responses as if they're something different, you know, physiological defense responses versus emotional defense responses. But I see the limbic system as the automatic survival systems that we've inherited over generations of different animals and whatever that actually create responses that ensure survival. And so, a fight or flight response, a fear response, an anger response, a memory of a previous experience, all of these things are designed to ensure survival. So, that is for me the primary motive or motivation of that limbic system. And within that limbic system, there are different structures that play specific roles. And a lot of our research focuses on the amygdala, which are two almond-shaped structures that sit behind our eyes that essentially are taking all the incoming information from the outer world and the inner world, process it according to the previous experiences we've had in life, our memories, and then creates a coordinated response across the brain to ensure survival, yeah? And one way to look at this Dr. Hedberg, which I find fascinating is to ask the biggest question of all, you know, why are we here? And we can answer that question from a philosophical perspective,
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